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5 Key Rights of a Florida Trust Beneficiary

Phillip B. Rarick, Esq., Miami Trust Attorney

Florida law requires that a trust must keep the qualified beneficiaries of a trust “reasonably informed of the trust and its administration.” F.S. 736.0813.  A “qualified beneficiary” is a current beneficiary, intermediate beneficiary, or first-line remainder beneficiary. F.S. 736.0103(16).  These information rights fall into two broad categories for a Florida trust beneficiary:  the Duty To Inform and the Duty to Account as follows.

Note:  The notice requirements discussed here typically apply to an irrevocable trust not a living revocable trust where the settlor (trustmaker) is not incapacitated.  If the settlor becomes incapacitated or dies, then these notice requirements likely do apply.

Duty To Inform

  1. Within 60 days of accepting the trustee duties, the trustee must inform qualified beneficiaries of the trustee’s full name and address and notify the beneficiary that the fiduciary attorney-client privilege in F.S. 90.5021 applies with respect to the trustee and any attorney engaged by the trustee. F.S. 736.0813(1)(a).
  1. With 60 days of learning that a formerly revocable trust has become irrevocable (by death or incapacity) the trustee must inform qualified beneficiaries of (a) the existence of the trust; (b) settlor’s identity; (c) the right to request a copy of the trust agreement; (d) right to a trust accounting; and (d) notice that the fiduciary attorney-client privilege in F.S. 90.5021 applies with respect to the trustee and any attorney engaged by the trustee. F.S. 736.0813(1)(b).
  1. Upon request the trustee must provide the beneficiary with a complete copy of the trust.

Duty To Account

  1. The Trustee must provide to the Florida trust beneficiary a detailed accounting that complies with F.S. 736.08135 from the date the trustee accepts the trustee duties at least annually and on termination of the trust or on change of the trustee. F.S. 736.0813(1)(d).
  1. Important information required in the trust accounting by F.S. 736.08135 include:
  • Name of trustee preparing the accounting and the period covered by the accounting
  • Disclose all cash and property transactions
  • Disclose all compensation paid to the trustee and the trustee’s agents, such as the trustee’s attorney, CPA, or investment advisor
  • Report significant changes that do not affect the value of the assets, such as changes in the names of investments, stock splits, change of custodial institutions.  F.S. 736.08135(2)(d).
  • In the case of a final accounting, include a plan of distribution.

This Report is only a summary of key rights qualified beneficiaries have under Florida law.  It is not a complete list of rights.   If you are a Florida trust beneficiary, contact Phil Rarick, Miami trust attorney, at (305) 556-5209 or info@raricklaw.com.

Special Note

The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an experienced Miami trust attorney. Your receipt of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.

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